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  • Writer's picturekwankew


There was no rain today. The sun shone brightly this morning and it had risen by the time I ran to the beach. Choosing a secluded spot, I dipped into the ceaseless waves of the ocean for a few minutes.

On the hard cement floor in front of a shuttered shop, two children slept like the stray dogs here with barely a blanket between them and no soft bedding to sooth their young bodies. Their lives were just as tragic as the unloved animals here, left to fend for themselves in this harsh world.

It took us nearly three hours to get to clinic this morning, heavy traffic in Ukhia area tied us up. The patients as usual were already waiting.

Unlike yesterday when I saw almost all adults, today I saw a mix of children and adults, still not many cases of diarrhea but a few more people with respiratory infections with at least two with pneumonia. Yesterday we fitted a man with adjustable eye glasses and today we also sent a man home happy with his new glasses; he was able to see clearer.

For the refugees, they no longer have lands to tend to. Now it is the planting season for rice, the Bangladeshi have been busy doing just that, the Rohingya have no place to grow crops but line up every few days for supplies and food. Their idle time causes them to dwell more on their aches and pain, complaining of “burning all over the body” and generalized weakness.

What is it like to have no hope in the foreseeable future? No light at the end of the tunnel?

The street children I saw in the morning are like refugees in their own country, homeless with no one to love them and when they wake up they have to find food for their empty bellies. It is amazing that they survive.

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